Land Appeal Court

Appeals from the Land Court are heard by the Land Appeal Court, which comprises a Supreme Court judge and two Land Court members (other than the member whose decision is under appeal).

Further appeal is by leave to the Court of Appeal on questions of law.

Very occasionally, a case proceeds to the High Court of Australia after grant of special leave.

So the order of appeal is:

  1. Land Court of Queensland
  2. Land Appeal Court
  3. Queensland Court of Appeal
  4. High Court of Australia.

About the Land Appeal Court

Any party to a proceeding in the Land Court has the right to appeal to the Land Appeal Court against all or part of the Land Court’s decision.

You can appeal against a Land Court decision under the Land Court Act 2000 or a compensation determination under the Mineral Resources Act 1989, s.&nsbp;281.

The Land Appeal Court sits at Brisbane, Rockhampton, Townsville and Cairns, the headquarters of the four Supreme Court districts in Queensland. The appeal is usually heard in the district where the land that is the subject of the dispute is located.

When you can and can’t appeal

If you’re a party to a proceeding in the Land Court, you may appeal to the Land Appeal Court against all or part of the Land Court’s decision.

You can’t appeal matters where the outcome involves the Land Court making a recommendation rather than a final binding decision, as this is an administrative function, not a judicial function.

For example, recommendations are made under the Mineral Resources Act 1989 and Environmental Protection Act 1994 regarding objections to mining projects and associated environmental authorities.

There is no right of appeal to the Land Appeal Court in these matters, but you may be able to apply to the Supreme Court for a review under the Judicial Review Act 1991.

Appeal period

You must file and serve your appeal to the Land Appeal Court within 42 days after the Land Court makes the order with the decision you’re appealing.

Note: The legislation applying to your matter may specify a different time limit. For example, under the Mineral Resources Act 1989, the time limit for filing and serving an appeal against a compensation determination for mining activities is 20 business days. Check the relevant legislation carefully.

How to appeal

Start an appeal by filing a Notice of appeal to the Land Appeal Court (PDF, 223KB) or (DOC, 61KB) in the Land Court registry either:

  • in person at Level 8, Brisbane Magistrates Court building, 363 George Street, Brisbane
  • by post to The Registrar, Land Appeal Court of Queensland, GPO Box 5266, Brisbane Qld 4001.

The notice of appeal must state the grounds on which you’re appealing the Land Court’s decision.

You’ll need to pay a filing fee at the time of filing.

What happens next

Your appeal is listed for a directions hearing, where the Land Appeal Court makes orders and directions setting out a timetable for your appeal, including orders about:

  • the preparation of an appeal record book, as it’s the appellant’s responsibility to prepare the appeal record book
  • exchange of written submissions
  • exchange of lists of authorities.

A hearing date may also be set for the hearing of your appeal.

For further information, see Land Appeal Court practice direction 2007/01.

Deciding an appeal

Appeals to the Land Appeal Court are by way of rehearing. The court examines the transcript of proceedings from, and record of evidence presented to, the Land Court.

The Land Appeal Court can admit new evidence only if satisfied that the evidence is necessary to avoid grave injustice and there is a good reason why the evidence wasn’t previously given.

After hearing the appeal, the Land Appeal Court may:

  • return the matter to the Land Court for a further decision
  • affirm or amend the Land Court’s decision
  • revoke the Land Court’s decision and substitute its own
  • make any order it considers appropriate.

The Land Appeal Court can also award costs.

Court of Appeal

If you disagree with the Land Appeal Court’s decision, you may wish to apply for leave (permission) from the Court of Appeal to appeal the decision.

Apply within 42 days after the Land Appeal Court makes the order with its decision.

See details on applying for leave to appeal from the Court of Appeal or contact the Court of Appeal registry.